NASA's Mars helicopter makes 1st flight on another planet

IVAN PEREIRA
·1 min read

All systems were a go as NASA made history on the red planet Monday.

The agency launched its Ingenuity helicopter into the atmosphere of Mars around 3:30 am ET, marking the first powered, controlled flight of an aircraft on another planet.

PHOTO: NASA's experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars, April 19, 2021. (NASA via AP)
PHOTO: NASA's experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars, April 19, 2021. (NASA via AP)

The four-pound helicopter, which landed on the planet with the Perseverance rover in February, tested flight conditions in the planet's atmosphere, which is colder and has different levels of gravity.

MORE: NASA's Mars helicopter survives 1st night on its own, gets set for 1st flight on another planet

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The first test flight hovered at around 10 feet off the ground, according to NASA.

PHOTO: NASA's experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity hovers above the surface of Mars,  April 19, 2021. (NASA via AP)
PHOTO: NASA's experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity hovers above the surface of Mars, April 19, 2021. (NASA via AP)

The flight was originally scheduled for April 11th, however, the agency had to postpone the take-off as engineers worked on preflight checks and a solution to a command sequence issue.

MORE: Photos from NASA's Mars rover Perseverance

NASA said subsequent flight tests will be scheduled and they will be documented via high-definition cameras on the Perseverance rover.

PHOTO: The team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) react after the Mars helicopter Ingenuity's first flight on the planet in this still image taken from a video on April 19, 2021. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU via Reuters)
PHOTO: The team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) react after the Mars helicopter Ingenuity's first flight on the planet in this still image taken from a video on April 19, 2021. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU via Reuters)

"The Perseverance rover will provide support during flight operations, taking images, collecting environmental data, and hosting the base station that enables the helicopter to communicate with mission controllers on Earth," the agency said in a statement.

PHOTO: NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter successfully completed a high-speed spin-up test, captured by the Mastcam-Z instrument on Perseverance, April 16, 2021. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter successfully completed a high-speed spin-up test, captured by the Mastcam-Z instrument on Perseverance, April 16, 2021. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/AFP via Getty Images)

The flight was streamed live on NASA's website, as well as on its social media platforms at 6:15 a.m ET, when the data from the flight reaches Earth.

NASA's Mars helicopter makes 1st flight on another planet originally appeared on abcnews.go.com